16 years ago.

November 22.

4.30 pm

Anticipation

In probably two days, our family would have a new member, destined to be our favorite member

Even as we sat chatting, bags packed (since the last couple of months and checked by you every day) and ready in case we needed to rush to the hospital, I excused myself, got up with lazy difficulty and waddled off to the bathroom.

So imagine my surprise when my water broke.

That gush of water was weird.

I gingerly stepped out and told you.

Ever crazy, the first thing I wanted to do was finish my porridge, which I had been eating, and a good thing too, for little did I know my next meal would be more than 24 hours later.

You panicked a bit, laughing and crying at the same time.

We’d both be doing a lot of that for the next few days….for the rest of our lives.

I called the doctor, who told me to go admit myself at the hospital.

I called Sury, who had gone to the recreation center for a game of Table Tennis after telling for the nth time to call… just in case.

On his way back, he had called a cab.

We were ready to move.

We zoomed off to St.Elizabeth’s.

The doctors checked me up and laughed at me saying I wasn’t ready.

Then the senior doctor came and confirmed that I wasn’t ready, but since the water broke, no way I could go home.

And they decided to induce labor.

Hooked me up at 7.30 pm.

Which continued into a night I’ll never forget.

Sweet pain.

I can still hear the baby’s heartbeat

You praying, reciting slokas so I could hear.

Tickling my feet endlessly

Both of us were tired, but you were such a powerhouse of strength to me.

It looked like morning would take forever to come.

Finally, in 12 hours, 7.30 am arrived.

November 23 dawned.

Wheeled to the delivery room.

At least another hour, the doctor said.

I can still picture her sitting at the table and watching me, cracking jokes as you hovered around.

The clock ticked on.

She decided I should start laboring

Sury had arrived and through everyone’s encouragement, I pushed

And pushed

An hour later, baby’s head was stuck and the doctor declared we were on the verge of trauma

She brought in another doctor to consult

Who immediately advised an emergency cesarean

And so we were whisked to the Operation Theater

At 10.32 am, I heard the neo-natologist’s voice say, “Why isn’t this guy crying” followed by a gentle pat on the baby’s butt and a yelp from the baby. That was it. No prolonged crying.

They took him away.

Still groggy from the anesthesia, I wondered, how did you know it was a boy?

I could vaguely hear the doctors working to stitch me up. They were talking about the party they were planning to attend that evening.

I remember thinking, I hope they don’t forget one of their instruments inside me.

And passed out.

Around 1.30 pm, I came to, in my own room.

I could hear voices

Lots of voices

My uncle and aunt had arrived

Everyone was gushing over the baby

Marveling at his hands, his long fingers and the various mudras he showed with his fingers.

Divine, they thought.

We had more visitors – strangers – who thought he was special, as he shared his birthday with Sai Baba. November 23

Indeed, a star was born – into our lives, anyway.

Our very own little “Baba”

vidur sury

How lovingly we stitched and knitted for him.

Warm cozy months of preparing for our little man.

Fond memories

Life changed forever
When our little boy was born
Infinite love, joy

Truly blessed! While I am grateful you were here for 12 birthdays, I am sad this is the fourth one you’ve missed, Mi. We arranged lunch at Seva Sadan and made a special contribution to another orphanage.